2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival: Dates, artwork and virtual plans

FILE — A family from Falls Church, Virginia, visits the cherry blossom trees in full bloom along the tidal basin, Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The National Cherry Blossom Festival has announced its dates for next spring. Of course, the festival that usually attracts some 1.5 million visitors will look different in 2021, but organizers are getting creative with plans for virtual events and contests.

“In a few months, we’ll all once again be warmly greeted by the arrival of our famous cherry blossoms,” festival Chair Richard Bradley said Wednesday.

The festival will begin on the first day of spring, March 20, and run through April 11.

The annual festival, which draws locals and visitors alike into the D.C. region, will be hosting a series of virtual, super-local and televised events to connect the community to the blossoms celebration.

“Exciting and entertaining programming designed to be as meaningful as ever while also being mindful of the community’s health needs,” Bradley said in a virtual announcement Wednesday.

Some of the events include small neighborhood parades, contests for children’s cherry blossom artwork, large art installations placed at 20 locations across D.C., front porch decoration contests and virtual classes, including a kite-making class.

The official artwork for the 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival is pictured below in a tweet shared by festival organizers.

Amazon is joining on as a festival leadership circle sponsor roughly two years after announcing its decision to have its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Brian Huseman, the company’s director of public policy, said it’s part of a $9 million commitment toward community investment.

“Amazon will be able to help bring some of the festival’s excitement across the river to National Landing, our new home and the festival’s closest Virginia neighbor,” Huseman said.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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